The hermitages are sober and humble pieces of architecture, which contributes with character and diversity to the rich architectural map of the City of Almagro that has been declared Historic-Artistic Site since 1972.
Since 2007 the Almagro International Festival of Classical Theatre has organized several activities around these hermitages with the clear aim of giving back to these religious buildings, the power of gathering the social life – as back in seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – and especially of arousing the interest in the performing arts in the neighbourhoods in which they are located.
Every year during the nights of the Festival, a large audience from of all ages comes here to assist to the numerous - free entrance- activities, such as street theatre performances and open air movie screenings under the starry sky of La Mancha.
Since its origin, Almagro has been divided into different neighbourhoods and each one of them has its own hermitage, which was taken care and maintained by its neighbours.
The development of the hermitages is mainly due to the rise of the cult of the statues and the relics, especially during the Middle Age and throughout the Modern Age, and also to the resurgence of popular religiosity during the Counter-Reformation.
From the architectural point of view, the hermitages respond to different styles.
For their construction were commonly used materials of clear popular tradition, such as soil, stone and wood, elements that allow differentiating the historical moment of the construction of each one of them. Their funding and maintenance was based primarily on almsgiving, patronage, or inheritance that the various devotions used to receive.
Built in the 16th century on a beautiful esplanade, the hermitage consists of a main building covered by a collar beam roof of clear Mudejar tradition. To this main body, it was added a head made of poorer materials and both parts are linked by a main arch. It has a simple dome with pendentives over a square room.
Contiguous to the main floor, at the same period it has been constructed the alcove (in Spanish the Camarín) - a new architectural piece representative of the Spanish Baroque - where the divine statues were treasured.
The alcove of the hermitage of San Ildefonso and La Paz is rather simple and is accessible by a staircase that preserves its privacy; the room has a rectangular plan and is covered by lowered barrel vaults and is decorated in its interior with paintings of Marian allegorical subjects.